photo by Rich Hayes

By: Dick Casey

Eddie MacDonald appeared poised for a top five finish in the American Canadian Tour’s Caron Fabrication 151 at Speedway 51 in Groveton, N.H. on Saturday, June 2 only to be caught in a lap 62 wreck. After a tremendous effort by the crew, Eddie Mac returned to the race without losing a lap to post a 12th place finish despite the severe damage.

On lap 62, two of the leaders tangled on the front stretch collecting the EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy in the melee causing extensive front end damage with the frustrated veteran racer saying, “ It happened right in front of me and I did not have any place to go, The hood was pushed up and I couldn’t even see out of the windshield and it looked pretty bad but Laura (LaChance) radioed that the car was not leaking so with some guidance I made it back to the pits and the crew went to work,”

Eddie Mac is competing for the ACT championship and trailed Scott Payea by seven points before the race so every point is important and with that in mind crew chief Rollie LaChance and the crew began cutting and ripping the damaged nose, fenders, and support pieces from the car in an effort to get Eddie Mac back into the race. A win was out of the question but a solid finish was the goal of the team that stresses teamwork, dedication, and determination.

“I am just so proud of my guys for everything they did so we could get back into the race,” said Eddie Mac. “Rollie took control of the situation and even though they were working pretty fast, everything they did was done right. I could not ask for better people. Rollie and I really appreciate the effort of Tom Rice, Rob Drandson, Ryan LaChance, Hoppy, Kenny Grooms, Brian Neal, my father, and Bobby Wood. Even our car owner Freddie Peterson was in there with a sawsall cutting up his own car so we could get back on the track. Of course Freddie owns Peterson Auto Body in Peabody so he is no stranger to body work. A number of other guys from other teams pitched in to help and we thank them.”

When Eddie Mac rejoined the field the flagman threw the green flag to restart the race on lap 63, the #17 Ma took the green in 19th place and while looking more like a modified that a full fendered racecar, the Rowley, Mass. veteran showed the determination that is characteristic of this team and drove under and over cars to the 12th position by lap 122 with Eddie Mac saying, “I think we could have had a much better finish but the car was just too loose. We were hoping for a quick caution after the repairs were done to make an adjustment but we didn’t get one until late in the race and by then it was too late. We did what we could and 12th was the best that we could get so now we will be back in the shop getting the car fixed for the next race at Waterford.”

Eddie Mac started the 151 lap event in 14th, the result of a -1 score in the heat race. After starting on the pole, Eddie Mac lost the lead after spinning the tires on a restart on a lap seven caution restart in the 12 lap qualifier. When the green flag waved to start the feature, Eddie Mac moved cautiously through the field despite a tight handling car in the center of the turns. Prior to the lap 62 wreck, Eddie Mac ran in the seventh position saying, “I didn’t think we had a winning car tonight because it was so tight in the center but I knew it was good enough to be near the front and you never know what could happen but unfortunately we got involved in the wreck.”

“Thanks again to our sponsors Derek Beatrice from Exit Realty in Middleton, Mass. and Kenny and Scott Peterson from Hancock Electric in Quincy, Mass. and Rob Grimm from Grimm Construction from Waymart, Pa. Thanks also the Jolene Drandson for handling our raceday social media and Laura LaChance for spotting duties. It was great to have my mom, Judy, at the track and to have new grandmother Sheila Peterson there for us. We have so many great people with our team, we are very lucky.”

The second leg of ACT’s three race Summer Showdown Series will take place on Saturday, June 16 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with $5000 going to the winner. Eddie Mac won the first of the series at Oxford Plains and if he wins all three events, the team will pocket an additional $5000.